Ins, Outs, and some NYC highlights

IN

- that Sigma F80 brush. It has made applying foundation when in a rush such a joy, I tell ya.

- sunshine

- Etsy. I placed my first order today as I was laying in bed nursing a cold... there really isn't anything better than ordering new jewelry to make oneself feel better, is it? The experience was easy and both sellers were prompt and helpful. Post to follow once I receive my things.

- clearing out the makeup drawer. I am gearing up for a blog sale soon (aiming the end of this week) and I will be posting a preview of it on my

Facebook page

, so make sure you are tuned in and 'Like' the page if you are interested!

- NYC. It was a short trip, but a great first visit to a city with so much to offer. I spent some quality time with one of my cousins whom I don't usually get to see very often unless I travel back to Romania. He now works in Manhattan so this means more trips that way might be on the horizon :)

I also got to meet one of my favourite bloggers that I have known through here for

ages -

Dara aka

BelleDuJourNYC

. I remember we started making YouTube videos at around the same time, and we had both been blogging before that. She is so beautiful and fun to hang out with, it really was like catching up with an old friend. Some of the friendships and people I get to "know" through this process is one of the absolute best parts of blogging/tweeting/YouTube and makes it all such a great experience.

I did a fair bit of shopping, a couple of clothing items and accessories here and there - I wanted things that I couldn't buy easily where I live. So that meant diving into some Burberry makeup (and walking by the Tom Ford counter without looking twice), and smelling obscene amounts of perfumes by brands I had never heard of before. My favourite beauty buying spot was probably the Saks on Fifth Avenue. They had amazing selection and great, helpful staff. The Bergdorf Goodman beauty floor was also amazing but the staff was quite cold and loved sharing evil glares with everyone who walked past... which brings me to my one and only OUT!

OUT

- One of my all time pet peeves are rude/stuck up department store staff members. I could honestly write 287182 pages with mean jokes and complaints but come on, you work at a beauty counter - take that stick out of your ass and be friendly to your potential customers ;)

I was honestly shocked by the overall bad customer service experience I have had in NYC. You'd think with it being one of the shopping capitals of the world, they would be a bit more helpful. It took me about 30 minutes to get the attention of someone at Barney's when I wanted to try on some trousers. There were about 2 other customers and 5 sales associates on the entire floor. Unbelievable. All the SA's look like they've been plucked from an editorial but their attitudes left much to be desired. The Saks store on Fifth Avenue was the only one where the staff on all levels - shoes, beauty, clothing (I tested out all floors on purpose) - was kind, not pretentious, and helpful. I also got helped by one very kind and funny gentleman in the accessories department of Barney's - this is what I do, I find a nice person that I like, and that's where I take my business :) 

It just bugs me when luxury retailers hire rude and pretentious staff. It's not always about hunting the big fish you can make the most commission off of.

Anyway, rant over - here are some snapshots from my long and painful daily walks:

PS: I was asked by the lovely

Tanya Burr

 to share some of my recommendations for things to check out while there. Keep in mind that having only been there once, I am no expert, but this is what I enjoyed:

- Central Park, grab a coffee and walk through there. A peaceful retreat in the midst of the concrete jungle.

- Broadway... try to get tickets to a show! There are so many great ones out now, just don't go to the Spiderman one.

- Sprinkles cupcakes. Cute and delicious. There is only one location I believe, on Lexington Ave.

- DON'T go to the Sephora in Times Square. It's an anxiety attack waiting to happen. Opt for a more quiet one like the one on 5th Ave by the Rockefeller Center. The skating rink they have by there is so cute, and some great stores in the area like a big Anthropologie and J Crew. Try to avoid any shopping in Times Square in general, unless you don't mind huge crowds  o_O

- I loved shopping for beauty and clothes at Saks on Fifth Avenue... the original Saks!

- Barney's on Madison Ave if you'd like to explore luxury goods... go up Madison Ave for more amazing boutiques

- the Meatpacking district is fun for going out

- dinner at Phillipe in the Upper East Side was fantastic (I also saw Lavo and Tao which are supposed to be good too... I've only been to Tao in Vegas and the food was phenomenal as well).

Things I didn't have time to see but I want to next time:

- the Met museum

- World Trade Center memorial

Hope you enjoyed this monster of a post and see you soon with a blog sale!!

Etc.SandraTravel, Personal